EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
pick of the brunch
Quieter times call for great food so stay home and put some love into your late-morning table setting and this masterpiece of a menu

Basix linen napkins in Floss, $22 each, Hale Mercantile Co. Iittala ‘Kastehelmi’ tumbler in Moss Green, $34.95 for a pair, Fiskars. Vienna glass jug, $39.95, Country Road. Wedgwood ‘Folia Rose’ bowl, $119; Iittala ‘Aalto’ oak serving platter, $129; and Royal Doulton ‘Gordon Ramsay Union Street Cafe’ serving platter in Grey, $84.95, all Fiskars. Cherrywood utility knife, $99, Heaven In Earth. Heat-proof glass cup, $12*, and saucer, $16*, Muji. Royal Doulton ‘ED Ellen DeGeneres’ plates, $22.95 (small) and $25.95 (large); Wedgwood ‘Vera Wang Moderne’ knife and fork, $249/set of 16 pieces, all Fiskars. Abundance low bowl, $55, Splendid Wren. Flocca linen tablecloth in Ayrton (across all pages), $349, Hale Mercantile Co. BRDR Kruger ‘Arv’ armless chair in waxed finish with woven seat, $3055, Seehosu. Mineral ‘Sheer S-Fold’ curtain, $65, Freedom.

FRUIT-INFUSED SMOKY TEA WITH FENNEL SYRUP

Glass jug, cups and saucers, servingplatter, cutlery, napkins, tablecloth, chairand sheer S-fold curtain(all as before). Peasant bowlin Satin, $59.95, Batch Ceramics. Iittala ‘Taika Siimes’ coffee cup, $29.95, and saucer, $24.95, both Fiskars.

Spoil yourself with an invigorating fruit tea balanced by delicately herbed Japanese curried-egg sandwiches

KATSU CURRY EGG SANDWICHES

Toorak natural elm dining table, $1299, James Lane. ON TABLE, Iittala ‘Raami’ tumblers, $34.95 for a pair, Fiskars. Condiment ceramic dishes, $45 for set of three, Splendid Wren. Beech wood spoon, $10*, and wooden cutting board, $30*, Muji. Wedgwood ‘Folia’ rectangular tray, $119, Fiskars. Iittala ‘Taika White’ saucers, $24.95 each, Fiskars.

fruit-infused smoky tea with fennel syrup

Iittala ‘Essence’ highball glass, $39.95 for a pair, Fiskars. Abundance bowl (as before).

SERVES 6 PREP 10 mins COOKING 10 mins

1 small fennel, thinly sliced
1 tsp fennel seeds
½ cup (110g) caster sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 lapsang souchong teabags*
Mixed plums cut into wedges, to serve
Pencil fennel, to serve

1 To make the syrup, place fennel, fennel seeds, sugar and ½ cup (125ml) water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add lemon juice and set aside.

2 Place the teabags in a large heatproof jug. Add 3 cups (750ml) boiling water and set aside to infuse for 5 minutes. Remove teabags. Add the fennel syrup, plums and fennel and mix to combine.

3 To serve, divide between glasses and serve with pencil fennel.

* This tea can be served hot or cold. Lapsang souchong is a smoky-flavoured black tea available from selected tea shops. Pencil fennel is long, thin fennel found at selected greengrocers. You can reserve some fennel fronds to serve as a substitute.

mandarin, beetroot, nori & saké cured ocean trout

MANDARIN, BEETROOT, NORI & SAKÉ CURED OCEAN TROUT

Iittala ‘Kastehelmi’ tumblers in Moss Green, $34.95 for a pair, Fiskars. Globe satin dish, $34.95, Batch. Beech wood tongs, $5.50, Heaven In Earth. Waterford ‘Elegance’ stemless wine glass, $129 for a pair, Fiskars. Medium satin dishes (next to stemless wine glass and at bottom right), $52.95 each, Batch. Abundance low bowl (as before). Condiment ceramic dish (as before). Royal Doulton ‘Gordon Ramsay Union Street Cafe’ serving platter in Grey, $84.95, Fiskars. Cherrywood utility knife, $99, Heaven In Earth. Chair (as before). Mineral ‘Sheer S-Fold’ curtain, $65, Freedom.

A sumptuous fillet of fresh ocean trout becomes the main attraction of your brunch, suitably dressed for the occasion in a smothering of salty and sweet flavourings

SERVES 6 PREP 15 mins COOKING 5 mins plus curing

1 cup (300g) rock salt
⅓ cup (75g) white sugar
1 tbsp juniper berries, crushed
2 tbsp finely grated mandarin rind
1 small beetroot, grated
1 cup (60g) chopped dried wakame seaweed*
⅓ cup (80ml) saké
2 tbsp mandarin juice
1kg fillet ocean trout, pin boned, skin on
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 baby red onions, thinly sliced into rounds Japanese pickled ginger, to serve Baby red-vein sorrel, to serve

RICE CRISPS

Vegetable oil, to shallow-fry
12 rice paper sheets

1 Place salt, sugar, juniper, mandarin rind, beetroot, seaweed, saké and 1 tbsp mandarin juice in a medium bowl and mix to combine.

2 Place 2 sheets of plastic wrap, overlapping slightly, onto a large tray. Spread half the salt mixture over the sheet. Top with trout, skin side down. Cover with remaining salt mixture, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in a deep-sided oven tray.

3 Top with a smaller tray and weigh down with heavy objects (such as food cans). Refrigerate for 48 hours (turning the fish over after 24 hours). Remove the trout from the plastic wrap and wipe away the salt, then discard.

4 To make the rice crisps, fill a medium frying pan half full with vegetable oil and place over medium heat until it reaches 180°C on a deep-frying thermometer. In batches, add the rice paper sheets for 30 seconds, or until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.

5 To serve, thinly slice the trout away from the skin with a sharp knife. Place on a platter. Mix mirin, rice wine vinegar, remaining 1 tbsp mandarin juice and onion together. Serve gravlax on rice crisps with pickled onions and pickled ginger, topped with red-vein sorrel.

* Wakame is a dried seaweed available from Asian supermarkets. You can use nori sheets (chopped) in the marinade instead. You could also serve the gravlax with regular flat breads as a quick alternative.

katsu curry egg sandwiches

Iittala ‘Essence’ highball glass, $39.95 for a pair; Iittala ‘Kastehelmi’ tumbler in Moss Green, $34.95 for a pair; Iittala ‘Raami’ tumbler, $34.95 for a pair; Iittala ‘Ultima Thule’ votive, $34.95; Wedgwood ‘Globe’ hi-ball glass, $119 for a pair; and Iittala ‘Kartio’ pitcher, $179, all Fiskars.

SERVES 6 PREP 10 mins COOKING 15 mins plus cooling

8 eggs, at room temperature 12 slices Japanese loaf bread* (or 6 slices white sandwich bread) shichimi togarashi and furikake*, to serve micro purple shiso, to serve

KATSU CURRY SAUCE

1 tbsp sesame oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 tsp finely grated ginger
1 small green apple, peeled and grated
2 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ cup (150g) Japanese mayonnaise

1 To make the katsu curry sauce, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, ginger and apple, and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until soft. Add the curry powder and flour, and stir for 1 minute. Add sugar, soy sauce, mirin and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until thickened. Set aside to cool slightly. Place in a blender with mayonnaise and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until cold.

2 Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil. Add eggs and boil for 7 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Peel and roughly chop. Add ½ cup curry mayonnaise and mix to combine. To serve, spread half the bread with the egg filling, cut off the crusts and cut sandwiches in half. Serve with togarashi, furikake and shiso.

* Japanese bread is available from Asian bakeries. You can use white bread slices, cut in half, for the recipe. Shichimi togarashi and furikake are Japanese seasonings found in Asian supermarkets.

** You will have ½ cup of curry mayonnaise left over. It will keep, refrigerated, for up to three weeks.

black sesame pikelets with creamed honey, ginger & rosehip syrup

SERVES 6 PREP 10 mins COOKING 25 mins

1 cup (250ml) milk
1 tbsp malt vinegar
2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ cup (110g) caster sugar
2 tbsp black sesame seeds, lightly crushed
3 eggs
20g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to brush
Icing sugar, to serve

CREAMED HONEY, GINGER & ROSEHIP SYRUP

2 rosehip teabags
¼ cup (90g) creamed honey
2cm piece ginger, sliced

1 To make the syrup, place tea in a heatproof bowl. Pour over ½ cup (125ml) boiling water and set aside to infuse for 10 minutes. Place the tea (discarding tea leaves), honey and ginger in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until syrupy. Set aside and keep warm.

2 Combine milk and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside. Place flour, bicarbonate, sugar and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Add the milk, eggs and butter, and whisk until smooth.

3 Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium–low heat. Brush with some extra melted butter, drop 1 tbsp of the batter into the pan and cook for 2 minutes or until bubbles form on the surface. Turn and cook for 1 minute or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Cook remaining batter, brushing with butter as needed.

4 Dust with icing sugar and serve with syrup.

plum wine-poached pears with whipped vanilla yoghurt cream

BLACK SESAME PIKELETS WITH CREAMED HONEY, GINGER & ROSEHIP SYRUP

Side plate (with pikelets), $45, Splendid Wren. Basix linen napkin in Floss, $22, Hale Mercantile Co. Peasant satin bowl (with pears), $59.95, Batch. Wedgwood ‘Folia Rose’ bowl (holding flowers), $119, Fiskars. Cup and saucer (as before). Wooden tongs, Muji. Wedgwood ‘Gio’ platter, $99.95, Fiskars. Globe satin dish, $34.95, Batch.

SERVES 6 PREP 15 mins COOKING 45 mins

½ cup (175g) honey
6 cardamom pods, bruised
1 tsp white peppercorns
50g piece ginger, sliced
3 cups (750ml) Japanese plum wine
1kg baby pears, peeled

WHIPPED VANILLA YOGHURT CREAM

1 tsp vanilla bean paste
½ cup (125ml) thickened cream
½ cup (140g) thick Greek-style yoghurt

1 Place 1 cup (250ml) water, honey, cardamom, pepper, ginger and plum wine in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Add the pears, cover with a piece of non-stick baking paper and top with a small plate or lid to weigh down the pears.

2 Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes or until pears are soft. Carefully remove the pears from the syrup, increase heat to high and cook for 15 minutes, or until thickened slightly.

3 Meanwhile, to make the yoghurt cream, place vanilla and cream in a small bowl and whisk to stiff peaks. Add the yoghurt and mix to combine.

PLUM WINE-POACHED PEARS WITH WHIPPED VANILLA YOGHURT CREAM

Peasant bowl (as before). Basix linen napkin in Floss, $22, Hale Mercantile Co. Wooden spoon, $7, Heaven In Earth.

Wedgwood ‘Gio’ platter, $99.95, Fiskars. Medium satin dish, $52.95, Batch. Iittala ‘Ultima Thule’ votive, $34.95; Iittala ‘Aalto’ serving platter, $129; and Royal Doulton ‘Gordon Ramsay Bread Street’ plate (on platter), $19.95, all Fiskars. Basix linen napkin in Argent, $22, Hale Mercantile Co. Condiment dishes (as before). Glass tea cup and saucer (as before). Rectangular wooden tray, Muji. Iittala ‘Raami’ tumbler (on tray), $34.95 for a pair, and Iittala ‘Taika White’ saucer, $24.95, both Fiskars. Condiment dish (at bottom, as before). Royal Doulton ‘Gordon Ramsay Bread Street’ platter in Grey, $69.95, and Royal Doulton ‘ED Ellen DeGeneres’ plate, $22.95, both Fiskars. Side plate (pictured with mixing spoon), $45, Splendid Wren. Beech mixing spoon, $10.95, Muji. Wedgwood ‘Folia’ rectangular tray, $119; Iittala ‘Taika Siimes’ coffee cup, $29.95, and ‘Taika Siimes’ saucer, $24.95, Fiskars. Beech tongs, $5.50, Heaven In Earth.

STYLING ASSISTANTS: ANISHA GITTINS, KRYSTEL ROBINSON PHOTOGRAPHY CHRIS COURT RECIPES JESSICA BROOK FOOD STYLING STEVE PEARCE PROP STYLING NATALIE JOHNSON. *CURRENCY CONVERSIONS CORRECT AT TIME OF PRINTING. BACKGROUND IS PAINTED EGGSHELL ACRYLIC PAINT IN HAMPTON’S BLUE, $130 PER 4L, PORTER’S PAINTS